the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The glamorous life

As part of our specific, designated duties in the morning, Jon makes Leta’s lunch while I get her dressed and brush her hair. This doesn’t ever change. If it did, the world would spin out of its orbit, ice would form over all the continents, and Leta’s day would be totally ruined. You can’t play on the playground when it’s covered in ice.

Yesterday I sent Leta to put her shoes on while I finished brushing my teeth, and when I headed upstairs to join everyone I looked up and saw Marlo perched up at the top of the staircase, ready to dive head first into the basement. I yelled at Jon and asked if he knew where the baby was, and from the kitchen he was all, of course! She’s right here behind—AHHHHHHHH!

In the future when the government is toying with the idea of mandatory sterilization of certain citizens, they are going to pull up this blog post.

No, we don’t have a baby gate. Yet. It’s been ordered, right? Right, Jon? He just bit his lower lip. Let’s just say a baby gate is in our near future. A baby gate, shoulder pads in size 12-18 months, and we’re getting rid of all our furniture.

And then yesterday I walked out of the office to relieve my niece Mariah who was lounging on the couch admiring her nail polish while Marlo sat in the corner chewing on one of Leta’s mechanical gadgets. I go, dude, you know she has that in her mouth, right? And she was like, dude, it’s not plugged in. And I was all, dude, I HAVE TAUGHT YOU WELL.

I walked over, plucked the toy from Marlo’s mouth, and tried to redirect her attention. This did not go over well in Marlo’s boundary-free universe, and she performed some sort of linebacker blitz, a combo of a roll/crawl/leap, and next thing you know she’s standing up at the coffee table, a little startled that she could actually perform such a complicated maneuver, and up comes half of her lunch: about a half a cup of curdled milk, three goldfish crackers, and what is that Mariah? What are you feeding my kid? Is that roadkill?

And it happened so fast that Mariah and I are just sitting there trying to figure out the next step, and Marlo looks down, sees the ever-so-delicious pile of bile and is all LOOK! A NEW TOY! THAT JUST MAGICALLY APPEARED! And she starts slapping her hand in it, because COME ON! PUDDLE! Splish! Splash! Splish! Splash! It’s like a bath, only with more chunks!

And of course it’s shooting in every direction imaginable, right back up onto her face, and the fun stops as fast as it started when she starts to cough on the residue in her throat. Glee turns to instant tears, and before I can grab a wipe or anything to repair her face she dives into my shoulder. My poor, startled, vomit-scented baby! Oh, sweet little precious Marlo covered in nuggets of stomach acid!

I held her close and rocked her back and forth while she cried and cried and cried. I tried to whisper that it was all going to be okay, but the words got stuck in my gut as I tried to stifle my gag reflex. And when she finally calmed down and pulled away to look at me, a string of regurgitated milk clung to her mouth and stretched all the way to my chest.

You guys, if the soap star I dated in Los Angeles could see me now.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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